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December 03, 1978 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-12-03
Note:
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Page 8-Sunday, December 3, 1978-The Michigan Daily

film
(Continued from Page 7)
of the indoor sequences is often
downright gorgeous. The film's few
bedroom scenes are tasteful yet
genuinely erotic.
Yet Girl Friends' shining glory is the
master performance given by Melanie
Mayron as Susan. The most versatile in
a cast consisting mostly of talented
unknowns, Mayron invests her role
with an astoundingly apt synthesis of
vulnerability and ambition. She shows
how Susan swiftly learns and masters
the streetfighters' techniques
necessary for advancement in a mur-

derous profession; yet, a scene of Susan
alone in her apartment, desperately
and vainly phoning a series of acquain-
tances, will painfully jab the memories
of anyone who's ever ended up alone
and unwanted on a Saturday night.
When Anne first breathlessly an-
nounces that she's getting married, we
watch Mayron's face run a gamut of
emotions in the span of a few seconds -
joy for Anne and her happiness, yet
anguish at the traumatic knowledge
that her own life has suddenly changed
forever. It's as wrenchingly beautiful a
bit of acting as you're ever likely to see,

that makes the cynical machinations of
the Grease-Jaws iI crowd seem more
shameful than ever.
It would be an even greater shame for
this sad but humane film to languish in
a few select art houses while its inferior
compatriots perpetually play the front-
line theaters. Warner Bros. is sup-
posedly committed to nationwide
distribution of Girl Friends, yet their
fervor is tenuous indeed if Michigan is
any example. Up until its Ann Arbor
opening, the film had played only one
Detroit-area theater, in Birmingham.
By my last count, Up in Smoke was
showing at at least 11 area movie
houses, Disco Fever at 12, the year-old
Heroes at 19. Are current audiences so
resigned to the insult of material so

pablum-like that the supposed aesthetic
division between film and TV is often
rendered invisible? Is the public really
so numb, so bludgeoned by the "pure
entertainrent" hype which the studios
now wield as a code phrase for a reac-
tionary avoidance of controversy or
complexity in any form?
For some reason, I still cling to the
belief that we're not quite that far gone.
If Girl Friends is, by chance, still in
town by the time you read this, please
grab a friend and go see it; perhaps
profits will turn the moguls' heads,
even if appeals to conscience won't. The
talented Ms. Weill - not to mention the
potential female artistic revolution she
represents - certainly deserves no
less.

presidents

(Continued from Page 6)
spy on congressmen while they visited
Washington's bordellos in order to
blackmail them on key votes, is
unsettling even today.
When Woodrow Wilson assumed
offiei in 1916, he promised faithful
supporters he would not propel the U.S.
into war. Less than seven months after
he was elected, however, Americans
found themselves involved in a world
war that has left some scholars still
guessing at how it began.
A quarter of a century later, Franklin
Roosevelt went back on his conviction
to stay out of war soon after Japan
bombed Pearl Harbor. But some of his
right-wing enemies, who suspected
FDR of favoring a major war, accused
him of conspiring to lure the Japanese
into attacking America's Pacific naval
shipyard.
But what was already evident by
FDR's time was the fact that
presidents had become captives of a
monstrous government over which they
theoretically presided. Instead of
acting as a manipulator, however,
presidents quickly understood that they
would have to operate through bureaus
and commissions which they could
influence, but not control. This led to a
pseudo-leadership position where
presidents could push and pull for
influence, but never forget their limited-
role.
"Richard Nixon didn't sufficiently
appreciate that," von Hoffman writes.
"He didn't understand that the formal
powers of his office, written in the
Constitution and the law, are often little
more than ceremonial and can be used
only when the countervailing powers on
the system assent . . . his downfall
issued less from any illegal act he may
have committed, than from a lawful use
of his office that threatened to destroy a
vast system of shared and intertwined
political power."
To become an influential leader,
ramblings
(Continued from Page 2)
"I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to
take chemistry anymore!" she
screamed. She was leaning so far out
the_ window that if Terry hadn't been
grasping Wanda's belt, she would have
fallen out. "Alec Greely gets off on
vacuum cleaners! Eureka!"
A group of guys formed in the parking
lot below her, and she thought she
heard someone mention the name of
Dave, my then ex-boyfriend Paul's best
friend Sean's brother.
"Dave! Dave O'Malley!" she cried.
"Are you down there?"
"Yeah! Who are you?" (It was too
dark to make out faces.)
"Dave! I love your brother Sean!"
"Who are you and how do you know
my brother?"
There was a knock on the door. "Open

presidents have learned that they must
solicit support,; and be supported, by a
broad base if they hope to make a move
against a resisting tide. Nixon, for
instance, was forced out of the Vietnam
War ,by waning support and growing
opposition. Although the Southeast
Asian endeavor became a presidential
war when the first advisors were sent
during the Eisenhower and Kennedy
days, the war began to backpedal and
fell into Nixon's lap. Nixon saw
Vietnam as a necessity in his
enveloping diplomacy but was "forced
to sign a disadvantagous cease-fire, not
because the American army had been
beaten on the battlefield but because so
little support . . . remained that the
President was unable to go on."
Throughout Make-Believe Presidents
von Hoffman comes off witty, and even
brash at times. Much of what he has to
say is sometimes bewildering, but an
avid student of history will find his
work provoking as well as amusing.
After the fall of Nixon, whose political
plight might be viewed as a
Shakespearean tragedy, some of the
disgraced president's supporters
suggested Nixon was used as a pawn by
the CIA because the Watergate
burglaries were so botched by the ex-
CIA personnel who were involved in it.
"If that's what happened," von
Hoffman writes, "it was one of the
greatest billiard shots of all time."
Von Hoffman, now a syndicated
columnist, conveys the same clarity and
wit he did when he debated Jame
Kilpatrick on 60 Minutes'
"Point/Counter-Point," painting the
presidency as a symbol of waning power
and puppet-like motions. Before the
presidency becomes obsolete, political
changes must occur; changes to
preserve a democracy, not destroy it.
Political forces, including a strong
third party, could stop another
"Tweedledum and Tweedledumber"
from reaching office and continuing the
game of imbecility.
up, it's security !" a voice bellowed.
Terry jerked Wanda in, accidentally
bashing her head against the wiidow
frame. Wanda passed out. Terry :ew
on a robe, mussed her hair, ope .J the
door.
"What do you want?" she s' ped.
"Who's yelling up here?"
"No one! Can't you see w.,'re trying
to sleep?"
The officer apologized and left.
Wanda woke the next morning with a
cotton mouth, churning stomach, and a
sharp pain in her head. She remem-
bered smashing into the window and
was sure she had a concussion. She
crawled down the street back to her
own room and dropped into bed, hoping
to crash for a few weeks to sleep off her
hangover. She wondered why they
called it Southern Comfort. Then she
drifted into sleep.

leach

(Continued from Page 5)
accumulated yardage and possibly a
retired jersey.
O.J. Simpson gave Southern Cal a
personality to admire in addition to his
records. Bob Griese left a touch of class
lingering on at Purdue. Even Steve
Owens gave Oklahoma more pride than
his records are worth. But for what will
Leach be remembered? Is anyone at
fault for the shallowness of his career?
Is his career as superficial as it ap-
pears?
The good side of Leach is slowly
coming out. He is unselfish with his
time according to a lot of people. He has
Sontag
(Continued from Page 6)
left-handed; I imagined myself,
grown up, as a homosexual, as
a monk or a nun, as a bomb-
throwing revolutionary; I
dreamed about Robin Hood.'
The character concerns herself with
the tension between the writer and the
feminist movement, loosely named,
"the organization." She explores the
roots of her language. Finding both the
feminist movement and her language
lacking in resolve, the character
concludes with a cry for answers.
Through her, Sontag takes issue with
the critics:
. ..Have I forfeited all claim
to your sympathy by the way I
write? Have you written me off
as passionless? Unspontane-
ous? Too unspecific? Disem-
bodied? But I have a body, I
assure you...
The scenario of "The Baby" is
revealed through the troubled
monologue of a married couple
separately visiting their shared analyst
on alternate days. Despite their
conflicting reports on their son's
behavior, their distinctive voices blend
as suspense builds.
In "Doctor Jekyll," Sontag allows her
imagination to play upon the legend of

been involved in programs to help
foster children and other less fortunate
kids. But the tight-lipped policy preven-
ts all but the worst from seeping into
sports pages and student conver-
sations.
Many people feel that Bo is the culprit
for denying the player he says he loves
the opportunity to grow into something
more than a talented quarterback.
Other people feel Leach is at fault for
not insisting on that right.
And still more people have no feelings
at all. This is the most unfortunate
aspect of Rick Leach's career at
Michigan.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Her updated
version probes the concept of freedom
in relation to an uptight, middle-class
society. She divides the tradition;
Jekyll becomes a moderately
successful physician, envious of the
freedom of his sometime-friend, Hyde's
freedom to be violent, as a member of a
lower class.
The final piece in the collection,
"Unguided Tour," is a reminiscence
written as free assocition. Phrases key
off words, and gradually a portrait of a
disintegrating love affair emerges,
sharpened by its shadowy parallel with
the perception of the world's slow
deterioration.
Sontag plies her characters with
information about their world, which is
full of "Rockets and Venetian churches,
David Bowie and Diderot, nuoc man
and Big Macs, sunglasses and
orgasms." She occasionally peers
from behind her unnamed characters,
hinting at the bond existing between her
characters, and herself. Their shared
task is to order the chaos, to create
neat, durable paradigms, fortifications
against despair. I, etcetera is a record
of such small victories. Sontag wants
up to - celebrate the triumph of
intelligence, reason, and instincts of
self-preservation in the face of
disorder.

inside:

Sunday maEazine
Co-editors

A dissident's
loyalty to
the U.S.S.R.

Books:
Presidential
Make-Believe

Sontag'

s

Elizabeth Slowik

Sue Warner

stories,
et cetera

Books Editor
Brian Blanchard
Cover photo by Alan Bilinsky

Supplement to The Michigan Daily

Ann Arbor, Michigan-Sunday, December 3, 1978

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